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Archive for May, 2016

Expert focuses on treating skin cancer with prevention during awareness month

While many people remember to protect themselves from sunburn when it’s sunny outside, University of Toledo Health physicians recommend taking daily precautions to prevent developing skin cancer because harmful rays from the sun can penetrate cloud cover and cause skin damage.

One in five people will develop skin cancer, making it the most common cancer in the United States with nearly six million cases treated each year. May is National Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month, and is a good time to review how to protect yourself from the sun.

skincancerawarenessDr. Prabir Chaudhuri, professor and surgical director of the University’s Eleanor N. Cancer Center, recommends avoiding the sun during its peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., if possible. If exposure is unavoidable, take these precautions:

• Wear lightweight, long-sleeve shirts, hats and sunglasses;

• Liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF every day and reapply often, especially when sweating or swimming; and

• Do not assume a “base tan” protects you from sunburn or UV damage.

“Using a tanning bed in an effort to avoid sunburn and skin damage is a myth. Tanning beds use intense UVA rays to darken skin, but UVB rays from the sun are what cause sunburns,” Chaudhuri said. “Both are dangerous, and we know that tanning, whether indoors or out, causes cumulative DNA damage to the skin, which can result in skin cancer.”

Melanoma is most common among older adults and senior citizens, but Chaudhuri said people of all ages can develop these malignant tumors.

“People with dysplastic nevi, a family history of skin cancer, extreme sun exposure or who have medical conditions that suppress the immune system need to be particularly vigilant in protecting themselves against melanoma,” Chaudhuri said. “Children are especially at risk because they have their whole lives to accumulate skin damage due to sun exposure.”

Dysplastic nevi are benign moles that can appear on any part of the body. They range in size and can be light pink to very dark brown in color. Dysplastic nevi are usually genetic and start to appear in late childhood and may increase in number with age. As many as one in 14 individuals have at least one of these atypical moles.

One of Chaudhuri’s patients said he monitors his skin carefully for changes because dysplastic nevi run in his family.

“I have a lot of moles, and I’m always looking for changes in their color and shape,” Thomas Fischer said. “I’ve had two melanoma removed. It makes me very anxious because I am likely to get it again, and I know it can progress. It’s important to keep up with it.”

Regular skin self-exams are important in identifying potential skin cancers. All areas of skin should be checked, not just areas that see regular sun exposure. Melanomas have been found on the scalp, groin areas and bottoms of the feet. The appearance of any skin irregularities or changes in existing moles should be examined by a trained physician in an effort to find and treat melanoma in its earliest stages.

“I visit Dr. Chaudhuri every six months now due to my risk of recurrence,” Fischer said. “After spending years at the lake, skiing and getting tan, I realize there’s a tradeoff. All that sun catches up to you eventually.”

Chaudhuri said a checkup takes just a few minutes and problem spots can be identified and removed quickly.

“If caught early, melanoma typically responds well to treatment, but the best treatment for any disease is always prevention,” he said.

Professional Staff Association to hold annual meeting May 25

The University of Toledo’s Professional Staff Association aims to act as a liaison between professional staff at the University and the administration.

Since its beginning in 1992, the PSA has established a variety of committees, including a Professional Development Committee and Sick Leave Bank Committee, created and revised a staff handbook, and instituted a scholarship fund.

web PSA general meeting May 25This year’s PSA Annual Meeting is open to all UT professional staff members and will begin at noon on Wednesday, May 25, in Health Education Building Room 100.

The meeting will highlight the year in review with an introductory statement from Elissa Falcone, chair of the Professional Staff Council and manager of graduate academic affairs in the College of Graduate Studies, followed by updates from committee chairs and discussion of upcoming events.

“This year, PSA has been very active through hosting several brown-bag workshops such as ‘Office Qi Gong for Stress Management and Your Well-Being’ and ‘New Year, New You: Refreshing Your Professional Profile,’” said Kari Dilworth, member of the Professional Staff Council and UT success coach. “We have also held social events, including a football tailgate. In addition to the annual meeting, we have elections and a social event at the Mud Hens still ahead for this summer.”

Wednesday’s meeting will include a silent auction and 50/50 raffle with proceeds going toward the PSA Scholarship Fund. The meeting will begin with opportunities to socialize and lunch while bidding on silent auction items.

PSA also has partnered with Reach Out and Read, an organization working to ensure children do not grow up without books. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book to donate to the organization.

“It is a great program that supports literacy for young children and their families,” Dilworth said. “In addition, UT staff member Lori Legendre is associated with this program, which makes it even more appealing for PSA to support.”

Lunch will be provided. Parking is available in Lot 43, and there is also a shuttle available.

To register for the meeting, click here.

Global Health Forum welcomes students to share international experiences

Students in The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Global Health Program have a unique opportunity presented as part of their medical school curriculum. During their time at UT, these aspiring physicians have the requirement of an international medical experience to bring to life what they learn in the classroom.

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to hear about the trips taken by fourth-year UT students at this year’s Global Health Forum, which will start at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, in Collier Building Room 1200.

PowerPoint Presentation“It’s a forum in which the students actually talk about their global health experience,” said Dr. Kristopher Brickman, professor and chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “It’s a combination of both academic rotations — they will spend a month at different locations across the world in areas that are different than ours — and also mission activities where they will go on a trip with one of our faculty members one of our faculty members taking care of patients for a more limited time frame of five to 10 days.”

At this year’s forum, students will present on their global health electives from the 2015-16 school year, with rotations that included Haiti, China, India and many others. Students will have up to 10 minutes to talk about their particular elective experience, what affected them, how the trip helped them develop culturally and professionally, and more.

The overall aims of UT’s Global Health Program include developing an international curriculum for UTMC that encompasses academic, clinical and research experiences over a span of one to three months. Academic centers range from rural populations to major cities around the world.

Brickman himself recently returned from a trip to San Salvador, El Salvador, where he began working with one of the local church organizations to set up the next possible medical mission site for the program.

Brickman said these experiences are crucial for the fulfillment of the Global Health Program. The level of education reached by traveling outside of the United States accomplishes two goals, the first of which is better preparedness for the medical profession today.

“Everybody on the planet can get virtually anywhere within 24 hours, for the most part, which means literally any disease anywhere in the world can basically be in your clinic, in your emergency department, at any time,” Brickman said. “Because of that, there’s a relevance factor in that we need to know what’s going on in the rest of the world.”

The second major key that makes global experiences important, according to Brickman, is the ability to connect with patients on a level far deeper than can be achieved by simply reading pages of a textbook.

“You have to live it — you have to embrace that culture, and you have to be part of that culture,” Brickman said. “That’s what we try to make happen with our Global Health Program.”

Light snacks will be provided. Those interested are encouraged to RSVP by contacting Deborah Krohn at deborah.krohn@utoledo.edu.

Associate professor to screen film in England

Holly Hey, UT associate professor and head of film, has been invited to screen her film, “the dum dum capitol of the world,” at Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium in York, England,Thursday and Friday, May 26-27.

“the dum dum capitol of the world” will be shown as part of the specially curated selection of artists’ films and moving image works selected from the winners of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival over the last several years.

Hey stillsHey’s film screened at the 2015 Aesthetica Short Film Festival and will be showcased with high honor among the best at the Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium. “the dum dum capitol of the world” received the LEF Moving Image Award.

She said the first-person experimental documentary is a moving-image meditation that contemplates landscape, home, recollection, queerness and time.

“The project uses personal history to reflect on universal themes about home, life, love, parenting, memory and death,” she said.

Hey began the project in 2005 when she received funding from the LEF Moving Image Foundation. She later received funding from The University of Toledo in 2012 and completed the film in 2014.

Future Now: The Aesthetica Art Prize Symposium is an extension of Aesthetica Magazine, a British art and culture publication that covers photography, visual art, music, film and theater. It has a readership of more than 284,000 and national and international distribution.



The symposium will consist of more than 40 speakers who will address diverse art topics. It also offers learning and networking opportunities through the industry sessions for artists.

Hey, who holds a master of fine arts degree in filmmaking from the Art Institute of Chicago, makes a broad range of work that can be seen in galleries, film festivals, live performances and on television. Her works have screened both nationally and internationally, and the National Educational Telecommunications Association distributed her major release, “Rat Stories,” which aired on PBS affiliates in the United States, British Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information on the event, click here.

Glass Bowl’s new FieldTurf surface project complete and ready for action

The University of Toledo football team will be playing on a brand-new field when the Rockets run onto the gridiron in the home opener vs. Maine in the Glass Bowl Saturday, Sept. 10. Installation of the new FieldTurf playing surface was completed last week.

Some UT’s players got a chance to test out the new surface Monday and gave it their enthusiastic approval.

The new FieldTurf playing surface was completed last week.

The new FieldTurf playing surface was completed last week.

“It’s nice, a lot different from the old turf,” said junior quarterback Logan Woodside. “It’s thicker and softer. It feels more like real grass. It’s not as hard, so I think that could help prevent injuries.”

“I think it’s going to be faster,” added junior linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley. “I think our cleats will sink into it better and give us better traction.”

The new FieldTurf surface is called Revolution 360 and features the latest in cutting-edge playing surface technology. The new surface will replace a FieldTurf surface that was installed in 2008. The project took about a month to complete.

“Any time you can make improvements to your stadium, it’s good for the program,” said Head Coach Jason Candle. “Our players are excited about playing on a new FieldTurf surface next fall.”

The look of the new field did not change dramatically. “We made a few tweaks, but overall we felt we wanted to stay with our current look,” said Tim Warga, assistant athletic director for operations and events. “The bench areas are solid blue and the numbers on the field are outlined in blue, but otherwise from a fan’s perspective it looks very similar to our current field.”

Other changes include a new angle for the Rocket logo at midfield so it fits inside the interior yard markers per NCAA rules. Also, the words “Glass Bowl” are stitched into each sideline.

The Glass Bowl was built in 1936 and had a grass playing field until Astroturf was installed in 1974. The Rockets played on Astroturf until 2001 when a new surface called Nexturf made its debut. That surface was replaced by Field Turf in 2008.

Toledo will open the 2016 season on the road at Arkansas State Sept. 3 before returning to the Glass Bowl to take on Maine Sept. 10.

Season tickets are available at the UT Athletic Ticket Office, online or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Outstanding staff members celebrated

Five employees recently received the University’s 2016 Outstanding Staff Awards.

Nearly 40 nominees were honored at a ceremony in the Student Union Auditorium.

Winners this year were:



• Tammy Brittian, administrative assistant in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She has worked at the University 22 years.

“Tammy is a natural-born helper and ridiculous multi-tasker; she’s never too busy to stop the millions of projects she’s simultaneously working on to help anyone who asks,” one nominator wrote. “Tammy emulates our mission by continuing to provide everyone she encounters on a daily basis with the utmost respect. On top of that, she serves as each of these constituent’s personal guide, helping him or her navigate the complex University system.” Another noted, “Tammy pushes herself and leads by example. She doesn’t need anyone to tell her what to do or how to get something done; she’s resourceful and doesn’t stop until she accomplishes what she set out to. Tammy is motivated by organization; the more organized, the better functioning her department.”



• Peggy Ery, publications editor of the Law Review in the College of Law. She has worked at the University for 29 years, first in Carlson Library, then transferring to the College of Law as a secretary before taking on Law Review for the past 22 years.

“As a student-run journal, we all must work as a team, and she is a great silent captain,” one nominator wrote. “She brings with her 22 years of experience and shares her knowledge with all who ask. Because of her dedication and hard work, she holds those around her accountable for their work and expects the highest degree of effort.” Another noted, “She motivates and inspires every member of the Law Review to do our best. Our Law Review is ranked 109th out of more than 500 general journals. Our success and continued excellence as a publication can be directly attributed to Peggy’s dedication. Peggy is always willing to drop her administrative and editorial duties — even if it makes her job harder — to answer editing questions and address managerial concerns.”



• Katherine Goans, associate director of the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources. She began her career at MCO in 1975 in Environmental Services, leaving in 1977 to continue her education at UT and start a family. She returned in 1982 to the Medical Records Department. One year later, Goans transferred to her current department as a laboratory animal aide. She has been promoted throughout the years to her current position.

“Dedication, commitment, helpful, pleasant — all of these words describe Kathy. She will be missed when she retires in 2017,” one nominator wrote. “The facilities are well-maintained, and the research animals receive premium care and treatment.” “She began working as an animal care aide before moving into the role of operations manager and in recent years associate director. In each of these roles, she has been an active team member in assisting department staff and UT faculty, staff and students to promote an excellent environment for research involving laboratory animals,” another noted. And another wrote, “She considers no question unworthy of a thoughtful answer and no individual beyond her ability and willingness to train to a successful level of proficiency. Her positive attitude inspires others to believe in themselves.”



• Scott McBride, business services officer in the Department of Environmental Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He has worked at the University since 1994.

“For research, he manages grant paperwork — $2 to $4 million a year — and is responsible for purchasing, accounting, balancing, and then fixing and adjusting to best meet faculty requests when all does not go as planned,” one nominator wrote. “He demonstrates extraordinary creativity to support faculty wishes while always meeting regulations. He confronts challenges with humor and creativity, always with the highest ethical standards.” Another wrote, “Scott has been running the business component of our department since he arrived. And he does so with a smile on his face every day and without complaining. Quite frankly, in our discipline with a combined annual budget of some $3 million in externally funded research and several dozen graduate assistants on the payroll, we would be lost without his competent help.”



• Marissa Reid, success coach in You College. She has worked at UT since 2013. Reid received a bachelor of arts degree in pyschology from the University in 2011.

“When success coaching started, new coaches were faced with the task of building a program from scratch that would retain students and build confident young adults,” one nominator wrote. “Marissa took the initiative right off the bat to begin organizing experiential learning opportunities for You College students. She spent her own personal time organizing, planning and prepping students to experience volunteerism and service learning through the Boys and Girls Club.” “She knows how to connect with her students and even provide tough love when needed,” another noted. “Marissa also gives back to the community, and it is not uncommon to find her at campus events or representing UT on various community groups where she is passionate about helping students be successful at UT.”

Assistant to chair receives Hymore Award

Lisa Akeman, assistant to the chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, is the 2016 winner of the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award.

She received the honor named for the longtime executive secretary to former President Lloyd Jacobs May 3 during the Employee Service Recognition Program. The award is presented annually to an individual whose work defines the core values of the University in Hymore’s spirit of support, encouragement and service. Hymore, 58, passed away in 2015.

Lisa Akeman received the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award from President Sharon L. Gaber, left, and Jovita Thomas-Williams, vice president and chief HR officer for human resources and talent development.

Lisa Akeman received the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award from President Sharon L. Gaber, left, and Jovita Thomas-Williams, vice president and chief HR officer for human resources and talent development.

Akeman joined the University staff in 1989 as a clerk in the Records Management Department. She served as a technical typist in the Department of Medical Records and the Department of Medicine. Prior to her current position, she was an administrative assistant in the Department of Surgery and later in the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research.

“Lisa consistently promotes kindness and positivity throughout her daily activities and encounters in the department,” one nominator wrote. “Her positive and upbeat personality is contagious, and we have all benefited greatly from her kind example.”

Another noted, “She has a high level of compassion and integrity that matches no other.”

“I am impressed with the quality and quantity of work that Ms. Akeman gets done in short amounts of time,” a nominator wrote. “She handles difficult situations with an impressive calm and composed nature that stimulates positivity even during stressful conditions.

“Ms. Akeman is indeed a role model for her demonstration of professionalism. She is calm and composed and in that sense exemplary to our students in particular.”

“Although I did not have the opportunity to know Ms. Hymore, this award attests to the type of person she was and the outstanding service she provided to the UT community. It was a privilege to meet members of her family and learn more about her and her service to our institution,” Akeman said.

“I am very grateful for this award and the recognition I have received, and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work in such an outstanding environment surrounded by such wonderful faculty, staff and students,” she added. “I have worked at UT for almost 27 years and have formed great relationships along the way. I enjoy coming to work every day and take pride in being part of such an exceptional community.”

UT grad student travels to Guatemala for vaccination research before graduation [video]

“This has been my first official full day in Guatemala,” said Jessica Schulte in a cell phone selfie video while resting on the front steps of a medical clinic in a remote village of Central America.

The master of public health student, who will graduate May 27 from The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, recently journeyed 3,000 miles to Petén for a research project to earn her global health certificate.

Jessica Schulte held a child she met during a weeklong trip to conduct research at an OB/GYN clinic in Petén, Guatemala.

Jessica Schulte held a child she met during a weeklong trip to conduct research at an OB/GYN clinic in Petén, Guatemala.

The 24-year-old set up shop for about a week in Petén at an OB/GYN clinic founded by Toledo doctors and UT alumni Anne and Dr. Randy Ruch.

Randy, an associate professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, is Schulte’s faculty advisor at UT.

“They asked if I wanted to go down to Guatemala and actually gather data for my project instead of just reading other studies,” Schulte said.

“We’ve brought many types of students, from undergraduate students to medical students to physician assistant students and physical therapy students,” Randy said.

“I’m sure we’ve seen at least 20,000 patients over the years,” said Anne Ruch, a gynecologist who first visited Petén during a mission trip nearly 20 years ago. “We saw these people living in a garbage dump in the middle of the city and it was so overwhelming to me. The women will often come four or five hours to get to the clinic in a morning. They’ll leave their house at three or four o’clock in the morning.”

Schulte, an epidemiology major who studies the distribution of disease in large groups, surveyed mothers to learn firsthand the barriers to vaccinations for women and children living in poverty in Third-World countries.

Jessica Schulte interviewed a patient, left, with the help of her translator in Petén, Guatemala. The master of public health student conducted research at an OB/GYN clinic during a recent trip.

Jessica Schulte interviewed a patient, left, with the help of her translator in Petén, Guatemala. The master of public health student conducted research at an OB/GYN clinic during a recent trip.

“Before they went to the doctor to get a pap smear or other exam, I was at a table interviewing them,” Schulte said.

Schulte has participated in several medical mission trips as a UT college student.

“The University of Toledo is very diverse,” Schulte said. “Seeing the diversity on campus has opened my eyes into the rest of the world. We’re in this bubble of Toledo, Ohio, and the United States, but what is happening outside of the United States, especially in Third-World countries?”

Every year UT awards more than $100,000 in travel grants to students who study abroad, whether it be for a semester in major cities or a few weeks in remote villages like Petén.

“Meeting everyone has been wonderful,” Schulte narrated in her cell phone video from the clinic steps. “The people are so willing to take part in my survey. They line up before we even get to the clinic. They wait hours if there are tons of people, and they don’t complain.”

“I hope not only that students see what the rest of the world looks like, and they understand that being an American has tremendous privilege and therefore they need to give back,” Randy said.

“Every person that comes on a trip, I say, ‘You know why I brought you here … because I’m counting on you guys to change the world,’” Anne said.

“I have this passion for global health,” Schulte said. “I have this passion to bring back my knowledge to the underserved in the Toledo area. It’s a passion I’m going to have for the rest of my life.”

The College of Medicine and Life Sciences commencement ceremony will be held Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater.

After graduation, Schulte plans to go back to school in UT’s physician assistant graduate program to earn a master of science in biomedical sciences.


UT College of Medicine to host commencement May 27

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Desjardins will serve as the commencement speaker for The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences graduation ceremony Friday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater.

There are 254 candidates for degrees: 169 who will receive doctor of medicine degrees; five who will receive doctor of philosophy degrees; 65 who will receive master’s degrees; and 15 who will receive graduate certificates.



Desjardins will receive an honorary doctor of public service degree.

“We are honored to have General Desjardins speak to our graduating class,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, senior vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “Her professional accomplishments and commitment to community exemplify the leadership traits we desire to see in all of our graduates.”

“Public service takes many forms, and it is gratifying that an institution dedicated to public service through teaching the healing arts and sciences has recognized that serving in the military also enhances the well-being of our fellow citizens,” Desjardins said. “I am humbled by the great honor bestowed upon me by the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.”

A command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours, Desjardins retired after a 32-year career in the Air Force. Her final active duty assignment was as the director of plans and policy for U.S. Strategic Command.

Desjardins received her commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy and her bachelor of science degree in international affairs/political science. She also holds master of arts degrees in industrial psychology and human relations from Louisiana Tech University and national security and strategic studies from the Naval Command and Staff College.

Currently, Desjardins is a consultant for Project Air Force with RAND Corp., and is a trustee and nominating committee member of the Falcon Foundation, which supports military prep school scholarships for those who desire to attend the Air Force Academy. She also serves as president of the Board of Governors of the Independence Museum and as the national defense committee chair of the Exeter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Exeter, N.H. She recently was selected to the Board of Trustees of Exeter Health Resources.

Rockets hire women’s swimming coach

The University of Toledo has hired former University of Utah Head Sprint Coach Jonas Persson as its head women’s swimming and diving coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jonas Persson as the head women’s swimming and diving coach at The University of Toledo,” UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien said. “Jonas has an outstanding background in the highest levels of swimming, both internationally and collegiately. I am excited to have someone with his experience and passion for the sport join the Rocket family.”



“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Toledo program,” Persson said. “Toledo has great potential and the Athletic Department is taking the right steps in order to be more competitive, both athletically and academically. While visiting campus, I knew right away that Toledo is a place where I can make a great impact. I’m looking forward to meeting the team and start recruiting right away. I want to express my appreciation to Mike O’Brien and [Senior Associate Athletic Director] Kelly Andrews for trusting me with this great opportunity.”

Persson worked specifically with the sprinters at Utah, and in the past five years he helped student-athletes break every men’s team record and 17 women’s team records, as well as assisting them set 55 top 10 all-time performances. He has coached seven swimmers to NCAA Championship appearances and 11 swimmers who ranked in the top 50 nationally.

Persson was influential in helping Nick Soedel become the first Ute ever to medal in the Pac-12 Championships (bronze in 2013) and earn Utah’s second individual championship with his first-place finish in the 100 free (2014). Soedel also placed fifth in the 100 freestyle and 14th in the 50 freestyle at the 2015 NCAA Championships.

Persson coached All-American Traycie Swartz to an 11th-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships in the 100 freestyle. Swartz was a three-time PAC-12 championship finalist and still holds the records in the women’s 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Persson also had a hand in helping Utah earn its first Pac-12 Champion by recruiting Bence Kiraly, who won the 1,650 freestyle in 2014.

A native of Sweden, Persson has competed at the highest levels of international swimming, including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where he was a member of his native country’s fifth-place 4×100 free relay team, finished 11th in the 4×100 medley relay, and 13th in the 100 freestyle. Persson was a part of the European champion 4×100 free relay in 2008 and the bronze medalist squad in 2010. He also was a finalist at the 2005 World Championships in the 4×100 free relay. He remains a Swedish record-holder and the No. 2 sprint freestyler in the history of Sweden. He won 16 Swedish national championships.

During his collegiate career, Persson set seven school records at the University of Tennessee, where he was a 13-time All-American and team captain for the Volunteers.

In the classroom, Persson obtained a master of business administration, master of science in sports studies and a bachelor of business administration from Tennessee. He served as a graduate assistant under Head Coach John Trembley, the 2011 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year. Persson was an Academic All-American and SEC Academic Honor Roll selection in 2007 and 2008. Persson helped expand Tennessee’s international recruiting network by communicating with student-athletes, coaches and parents in 16 different countries.